We all have our own comfort zones and with most of us, dealing with new people can be tough. That was the case with Pam and this was a huge irony considering she was married to an army officer, Ted. What it meant was the Pam would be pulled out of what had become a comfort zone (with a great bit of difficulty) to move on to a new place. It meant that she had to get out of the place (residence, markets, roads and other places) she was just about getting comfortable with, move away from the few people who she had become comfortable with and move. This meant Pam had to go to a new house, get used to new weather and a whole new landscape filled with new people.
She realized that she loved Ted but her way of thinking was keeping her from adjusting to the new places and getting along with new people she met. For a while, she even thought of breaking up her marriage and moving back to her hometown though her heart broke at the thought of a life without Ted. She sat down with Ted and had a talk with him and both of them agreed that she would go back to her hometown and live with her parents for a while.
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Landing back in her hometown where she was familiar with the landscape felt like heaven to Pam. However, as days passed she realized that even her hometown had changed and there were a lot of new people that she did not recognize. Even her parents seemed to have changed and they even did new activities with their new neighbours that she had never known them to do before. Her siblings were dating new people that she did not know very well. Soon Pam came to the conclusion that people change, circumstances change, and so do people. This meant she would have to become comfortable around new people or she would be stuck in a bubble of existence that would become very narrow indeed. Overcoming resistance to change would give her to key to having a better life.
Pam thought long and hard about how she could make her comfortable with new people and new circumstances and here are some conclusions she came to:
It is about being comfortable with yourself: Pam realized that she had many things going for her; she was young, pretty and had a nice smile when she bothered to use it. What is more she was also intelligent and had many interesting insights to offer to people. Once Pam realized that she was as good as anyone else was, she started becoming comfortable in her own skin and this, she realized was the key to be able to relate to people at all levels.
They are sometimes as nervous as you are: As Pam returned to where Ted was posted and started setting up their home anew, she met a lot of new people. Soon the thing that made her comfortable with them was realizing that most people were as nervous as her about meeting new people. Once she realized that most people make an effort in spite of their nervousness, she started to find herself opening up to new people.
Finding something in common can help: Knowing that they were as nervous and uncomfortable as she was, she could then concentrate on finding common grounds with them. This meant Pam was soon helping them and having nice conversations with them that helped her become even more comfortable. After all, Pam was a young lady who had many interesting things going for her and people started to relate to that. Ted was pleased to see how much happier and more comfortable Pam seemed in their new posting.
People love listeners and you can be that: Pam would still feel nervous when she came across people who were confident and comfortable with new people. This feeling only lasted until she realized that such people adore people who listen to them and she could certainly do that. In fact, the more she listened and empathized, the more people were drawn to her. It was all a matter of actively listening and showing active interest in what they had to say.
You need the familiar and the new: While Pam was busy getting over her fear and reluctance about meeting new people and interacting with them, she also came to value the comfort and security that being with Ted provided her. She realized that she could deal with the new and the unfamiliar as long as she had Ted and his love to keep him anchored. There was something to be said about having both the familiar and the new around you, which made you appreciate both even more.
That is why, when Ted announced his next posting with a certain amount of dread on his face, Pam simply smiled at him, hugged him and asked him when. The look of relief on Ted’s face was all she needed as a reward.